Movie Review - Beautiful Boy



Starring: Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet
Directed By: Felix Van Groeningen
Rated: R
Runtime: 2 hours

          Rolling Stone writer David Sheff wrote a memoir about his drug addicted son in 2009.  His son, Nic, also wrote a memoir of his time as a person addicted to opioids.  The two memoirs were combined to make the movie Beautiful Boy.  Starring Steve Carrell, who has been trying SOOO hard to win an Oscar ever since leaving The Office seven years ago.  He plays the father David who will do anything to cure his son’s addiction, and has the means to do so being a well off author/magazine columnist.  Nic is played by hot young actor Timothee Chalamet.  Star of last year’s Call Me By Your Name.  He was in two movies nominated for Best Picture last year alone.  The kid can act.

          All the pieces put before you make for a movie that should be a lot better.  Great actors, a great story, lot of emotion, opioids are a real hot topic right now.  But the movie isn’t as good as the sum of its parts.  There’s a few really powerful scene, but the movie is really comprised of moments and not a completely fleshed out narrative.

          I struggled in the opening act to figure out how the story was being told.  Time skips around forwards, backwards, but it’s not a long enough time jump to be clear what is happening.  It felt as though David Sheff began writing this memoir awhile into his son’s addiction and he thought, “you know, there’s a book in here.  This journey is a book” and had to piece a few things together because he couldn’t vividly remember how everything started.  Because once the movie settles in you get more fleshed out scenes and time stops moving around all over the place.

          When the movie’s on, it’s on.  But it isn’t a consistent enough journey to really recommend to anyone.  I feel like I’m cheapening the Sheff Family’s experience by not raving about the movie, but it just wasn’t that good.  I never was given a real reason to care about this family other than the fact they were a family and I too have a family.

Chalamet is giving it everything he’s got.  I commend him for that.  But this just isn’t the role that’s going to win him an Oscar.  He strikes me a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio in that he is very clearing trying to win an Academy Award every single time out, and there’s just always someone better than him.  He’ll get nomination number two, but he’ll also be 0-for when it’s all said and done.

          Good supporting turns by Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan as the women trying to hold the family together.

On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It", I've got to answer "Skip It".  It just isn't significant enough to warrant watching.

If you liked Requiem for A Dream, Midnight Cowboy, and Trainspotting you might enjoy Beautiful Boy.

2 out of 5 stars for Beautiful Boy, it’s just trying a little too hard.  It does the big movie moments right, but not the little things.


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